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Articles by: Crystal may Ainardi

  • Op-Eds

    OBAMA


    As we know now  all across the world where there is TV, radio, and newspapers, Mr. Obama crossed the racial barrier that covered American politics. In January we get to see this man in the office as our Commander in Chief.

    Over the past three months I've made thousands of calls to people across America. Knocked on doors of my neighbors, and shared the vision of Obama with everyone I could get to talk with me about Politics.

    I'll back track here and say what moved me was his speech at the DNC. Before that I wasn't sure who I would vote for, and even before all this I had never campaigned for anyone. But, he mentioned the immigrants that came long before and made America what it is today. I thought of my great-grandparents. They had no education, they were very poor and strugged through the depression to raise all eleven of their kids. Then I thought of my grandfather, their son, who left school at the age of 12 and worked hard all his life , raised a family from nothing to a middle class. And then it came to my fatherthethe  proper working class man, who passed onto my brother and I the dreams and hopes of opportunities for the future.

     



    "Instead, it is that American spirit -- that American promise -- that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.


    That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours -- a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.


    And it is that promise that 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.


    The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.


    But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.
    "- Barack Obama

     

    We have a great future in America.

     

  • Life & People

    How I found the Italian in me.


     

    I’ve never read the book, “Were You Always an Italian?” by Maria Laurino, so I won’t pretend I have, but the reviews are a very mixed bag. (http://www.sicilianculture.com/news/alwaysitalian.htm) My own story could be similar in finding my Italia. I’m not a full blooded Italian. I’ve got a mix of other Northern European and Native American from my mother. Do I embrace these cultures too? You bet. In fact as a kid, it was what I knew best. Being an Irish and Native American meant more to me then Italian, even if my surname ended in a vowel.

    I grew up in a home that had concealed its identity almost 80 years before. I knew I was Italian, but we really didn’t talk about it or embrace it like one should. Grandpa didn’t want to talk about his parents the “immigrants”. He only shared a few words of Italian with me, and he really had no idea where his family came from when I showed him a map. “Oh, it’s somewhere up north by France.” We joked about being Italian, if we even bothered talking about being Italian. We watched mob movies and compared ourselves to them. If gathered in groups “we all smelled like Garlic”. We called each other “Wop’s” and “Dego’s”. I didn’t know there were problems with any of this untill I grew up.

    I call this the identity crisis. Last summer I knew my last name as Anarde. My grandfather had nine siblings. Half of them spelt our surname Anardi but when I asked why, no one seemed to have the answer. I knew growing up telling people I was part Italian I was given strange looks. I wasn’t the “typical Italian” look. I was blond, blue eyed and the name wasn't right. The only thing that linked me to a Roman past was the nose. I grew up watching these mob movies with these women like in “GoodFellas” thinking I needed to have the big hair, smacking gum, hide stuff for my men, and getting beat on. I couldn’t identify. I started to think maybe I’m not so much Italian. I had the wrong skin, hair, eyes, personality (according to the media) and even name.

    So last summer my brother had gone to Rome with his college class and when he came back he got me really interested in looking into our grandfather's “hidden” past. I had already started to research my mother’s side of the family with the Native American family, but with no success.

    At almost 30 I did finally find the answer to our name. I can only imagine what it’s like for one who has found out that he or she was adopted. This damage though, was almost 80 years old. For my name was not Anarde nor was my other family members' name Anardi. It was not pronounced the way I had recited it for all my years. I had found the key to the past; my great grandparent’s hidden names. Ainardi was our surname and no one knew. All those who knew the secret were dead. My great grandfather’s name was not Louis as it said on his death certificate , it was Luigi. My great grandmothers name was not Melanie as the Americans and her own kids called her, but Meliana. What was in the name? This name goes as far back in Mattie and Susa, Italy from the Roman times it can be found in books written in French and Italian but why did they turn their hearts on their names. Fear, WW II.

    This still didn’t resolve the shame of 80 years that I needed to work through for myself and my family.

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